Common Electrical Issues

While we all would love to believe that a home is complete upon move in, there is always a chance that there are hidden hazards. Unfortunately, the more urgent concerns aren’t visible to the untrained eye. Electrical issues tend to be the most common and the most difficult to diagnose due to accessibility. Here is a quick list of some of the more common hazards regarding electrical wiring.

Hot and Neutral Reversed

receptacleThis is exactly what it sounds like! The black “hot” or “live” wire is connected where the white “neutral” wire should be. When looking at the electrical receptacle (also known as “outlets” or“sockets”), the black wire should be connected to the brass screw and the white wire should be connected to the silver screw, both of which should be marked on the outlet itself to prevent confusion.

If there was a mix up when connecting the wires, the problem isn’t whether or not the circuit will function, but instead whether or not the equipment that you have plugged into the circuit is designed to “sense” when electricity is flowing.

If the equipment that is plugged in to an outlet that has reverse wiring is not designed this way, then the potential for damage, short circuiting shock or fire is high.


Open Ground

Open Ground happens when the ground cable has not been connected two the electrical receptacle. Which is needed to provide protection against possible shock to whomever comes into contact with it

Open Neutral

The same concept applies here, except it is the white “neutral” wire that is not in contact with the electrical receptacle. The danger with having an open neutral is the potential for a large charge to be built up within any device or equipment connected to the open neutral outlet. Which could result in severe shock, damage to items connected or even fires.